If live jazz, attentive service and old school glamour sounds like your scene, all experienced with an award winning cocktail in hand – it’s time to visit The Nightjar. Since 2010, this inconspicuous bar has been making memories for visitors and locals alike, in its stunning 1920s themed venue on the fringes of Shoreditch.
The Nightjar was born from a desire for a cocktail bar that left behind the flashy nightclub and overcrowded vibes of the West End, and focused instead on attention to detail and ensuring that each guest’s experience is tailored to their own personal preference. Co-owner, Rosie Stimpson, was inspired by her days as a jazz singer, during which she and co-owner and partner, Edmund Weil, worked as bartenders.
“The catalyst was music,” said Rosie. “And it remains a fundamental part of the bar. The other elements came later.”
The Nightjar is the quintessential old-school cocktail bar, serving up tried and tested classics alongside an extensive list of house-curated cocktails. Tying into its strong 1920s theme, The Nightjar is launching a new, historically-charged menu divided into Pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, Post-war and Signature categories. Cocktails within each category feature the nuances of the era, breathing new life into old flames.
Ingredients featured on the new menu, include standouts like Schisandra, a five flavoured berry traditionally used for medicinal purposes in Chinese medicine, Buchu Leaf – a south African peppermint-style leaf with a fresh flavour and acts as a natural remedy to upset stomachs, Chanterelle Mushrooms – a wild mushroom known for its delicate taste and unique texture, Osmanthus – a southern Chinese flower used to care for one’s complexion, and Devil’s Claw Tincture – a native African plant with a rich botanical flavour. With each concoction created with house-made syrups and top-tier ingredients, there’s little wonder that The Nightjar was among the top 4 of the World’s Best Cocktail Menus as judged by Tales of the Cocktail in both 2013 and 2014.
If it’s a glass of wine you’re after, The Nightjar’s Bar is well stocked with fine wines, spirits and beers that your passport would be proud of. Whatever your choice of drop, delicious bar nibbles and tapas style bites are also readily available, like zucchini rolls with ricotta and pine nut stuffing, pan fried brochettes with ceccina, mozzarella and vine tomatoes, or perhaps tuna tartare with guacamole being dished out to hungry guests.
As per every good cocktail bar, a trip to the Nightjar is complete with live music throughout the night. With swing jazz, vintage pop, jive piano and even a 6-piece swing band, The Nightjar has maintained a level of old-school elegance and charm that sends you back to a bygone era.
With a strong reputation for excellent quality and a team of talented and passionate bartenders at the helm, it’s not surprising that The Nightjar has attracted a large collection of international accolades, including CLASS Magazine’s Beset New Bar in 2011, making it to The Independent’s list of Top 10 Best Bars in the UK and Drinks International Magazine’s list of 20 Best Bars in the world in the same year. As if this isn’t reason enough, The Nightjar should be sliding to the top of your to-do list when you next hit Shoreditch.